cybersecurity awareness

7 reasons why you could experience a cyber attack

All companies will experience a cyber attack. Below are 7 reasons why.

#1 Surfing dubious websites

In today’s technology-driven world, web surfing is an everyday activity.

No one in front of a device, be it a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone, would not be surfing a website.  

Cybercriminals know this too. They set up malicious websites and lure the unsuspecting surfer to visit their sites. Once on their website, the surfer will be induced to unwittingly click on it and download a malicious piece of code.

Once downloaded, the code can do many things. It could encrypt files. It could infect other computers in the network, or it could simply remain quiet in the infected device collecting data.

The poor user is now at the mercy of the cybercriminals.

#2 Not updating your operating system

All software application requires updates from time to time. The purpose of these updates could be fixing a software bug, patching up a security vulnerability, or simply providing new features. Whatever the case, failing to update your operating system when these updates become available would provide the cybercriminal an opportunity to take advantage of the vulnerability and launch a cyber attack.

So you want to quickly update your operating system whenever an update is made available.

#3 Unknowingly downloading a malicious file

Phishing attacks are a popular attack mechanism deployed by cybercriminals.   Phishing attacks are easy to carry out, and with a larger attack surface area, the chance of success is high. Some phishing tactics don’t even require the user to actively download an application.

Users not aware of the various phishing mechanisms will quickly fall for the ruse. The only way to minimize these attacks is through cyber awareness education.  If you are running a network of users, you might even want to launch an internal phishing campaign to identify those users who easily fall for such tactics. You can then send them for further education.

#4 Infected by another computer

If you are part of a computer network, and if a computer is compromised, like a virus, they could quickly infect other machines. The cybercriminals could then easily take control of the network to do some nasty things or launch an attack onto another network – your customer’s perhaps.

Unless you have a cybersecurity defense system in place, you will be oblivious of such activity.

#5 No cyber defense in place

Minimally computers in your network should have a cyber defense solution to protect them. Each device is a point of entry for the cybercriminal.

With the trend of users working remotely, the likelihood of a cyber incident is even higher. When a cyber incident is made public, it will undermine the confidence of its stakeholders, and its reputation will take a hit.

This is made worst if it involves personal data. Privacy regulators would step in and further impose fines. The fines and cost of fixing the issue could be costly and be potentially deadly to a company with limited funds.

Companies should deploy a cyber defense to protect itself. After all, the cost of implementing a cyber defense solution is a fraction of cyber incidents.

#6 Using a computer whose OS is no longer supported

Software vendors are constantly innovating and bringing forth innovations and features to their application. Take, for example, Microsoft Windows. It has gotten several upgrades from Windows 95, 98, to currently Windows 10. With each version upgrade, older versions will no longer be supported. Announcements will usually be made about the application going end-of-life to prepare its users to upgrade to the latest version.

When an application goes end-of-life, there will be no more support for it. So if there is an application vulnerability or bug, the software vendor will not be releasing any patch or fix for it. Anyone who persists in using the older version will run the risk of being exploited or be hit by malware.

#7 New attack mechanism

Cybercriminals are not staying still. They are continually devising new ways of mounting an attack.

When a new attack is launched, most users will not have the means to defend against it. They will quickly be its latest victim. Deploying a cyber defense solution is your best bet against such an attack.

Any cybersecurity software vendors worth their salt will be on their toes to quickly counter such threats, or their reputation as a security vendor will take a beating.

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